“It’s serious, no doubt about it. If I’m not mistaken, the last number we received is that 87,000 people have phoned to report gender-based violence in the household.
“There’s one case that I want to make here, of one police [officer] that has been charged for rape. What is not said is that he is a husband of the victim and she opened the case. He has been arrested,” Cele said.
The police ministry on Friday disclosed that the Western Cape and Free State had recorded the most arrests of lockdown offenders.
“What has been a dampener since the beginning of the lockdown has been the consistently high number of people arrested for violating the lockdown regulations,” Cele said, citing 2,298 arrests just on March 30. By close of business on March 31, the total sum of arrests had reached more than 17,000 since the lockdown started.
Later on Friday, police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said that over 2,000 people arrested for violation of lockdown laws had been released on warning.
Peters said 125 people had been granted bail, while 7,450 had been issued with fines.
Those released on warning are expected to appear in court.
The number of summons issued by courts was 16, Peters said.
Provincial breakdown of total arrests:
- Gauteng - 1,888
- Western Cape - 4,769
- KwaZulu-Natal - 1,845
- Eastern Cape - 1,613
- Northern Cape - 832
- North West - 1,562
- Free State - 3,098
- Mpumalanga - 752
- Limpopo - 850
- TOTAL - 17,209
Offences vary from transport- and liquor-related offences to general non-compliance with the regulations.
“Ideally,” said Cele, “we would prefer that our communities and all stakeholders co-operate and comply to minimise the risk of exposure of both themselves and our 24,389 law-enforcement members to Covid-19. We really do not want to arrest people but to contain the spread of the virus.”
On the issue of spaza shops, the ministry said an instruction would be issued to law- enforcement agencies to understand that all spaza shops and informal food traders with the necessary permits from the relevant municipality would be allowed to operate.